Carbon 14 dating new testament papyrus
The illustration below shows the three isotopes of carbon.
Some isotopes of certain elements are unstable; they can spontaneously change into another kind of atom in a process called “radioactive decay.” Since this process presently happens at a known measured rate, scientists attempt to use it like a “clock” to tell how long ago a rock or fossil formed.
The procedures used are not necessarily in question. The secular (evolutionary) worldview interprets the universe and world to be billions of years old. The use of carbon-14 dating is often misunderstood.
Carbon-14 is mostly used to date once-living things (organic material). Carbon-14 is constantly being added to the atmosphere.
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.
Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.
So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.
An “isotope” is any of several different forms of an element, each having different numbers of neutrons.
One is for potentially dating fossils (once-living things) using carbon-14 dating, and the other is for dating rocks and the age of the earth using uranium, potassium and other radioactive atoms.Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.